Thursday, February 24, 2005

New Raptor

Not the usual sort of thing I post about but I have a deep and abiding interest in dinosaurs, no doubt brought on by an interest in movies like One Million Years BC- I was so disappointed when I eventually discovered that millions of years separated humans and dinosaurs. Blasted scientists, always spoiling things!

Anyway, it seems that a new species of raptor, given the catchy moniker of Neuquenraptor Argentinus, has been discovered in Argentina. It was previously thought that the raptor dinosaurs never made it to South America but this find has been linked to an earlier one and now it seems that dromeosaurs (characterised by the raptor's famous hooked claw) did in fact exist there sometime 80 millions years ago in the Cretaceous period. Though they were only about two metres long they have an adaption to their skeletal structure which their more famous velociraptor cousins did not- making them into especially swift runners. You can what they looked like here.

My favourite brand of raptor, however, is the oversize Megaraptor, a beast which looked just like a velociraptor (though it it wasn't actually a dromeosaur), but which was eight metres long (26 feet) and which had a hooked claw of over 36cm. That's fourteen inches. And it weighed about a ton. Imagine coming up against that.

1 comment:

Kris said...

Sounds pretty scary. Although I have to admit I'd be more overwhelmed and therefore probably more scared if faced with something like a Seismosaurus. With a name meaning 'earth-shaking lizard'it's bound to have been a real beast! Although it was a herbivore, you have to admit, with 131 feet of dinosaur in your face you'd be feeling pretty anxious. And pathetic for that matter.